*For all movie reviews I will add ‘rental’ to the title to emphasize I did not see it in theatre but rather at home. This can often impact the review since I did not get the movie theatre experience. Without a crowd to react along with you, a big screen, and a good sound system, someone’s take on the movie can be slightly tarnished.*
Rated: PG-13 for extended and intense sequences of Western violence, and for historical smoking, some language and suggestive material
This movie was fun, yes fun! It’s a remake on the 1960 Western Film with the same title, hence the year in my title of this blog. Every now and then a movie will surprise me and I’ll actually have fun enjoying it. That may sound odd, but it’s not to say I’m bored watching any other movie. But few movies keep me on the edge of my seat like I’m at an amusement park, excitedly waiting to experience what thrill will happen next. This new western, did just that for me. Plus, it has Denzel Washington in it. He happens to be my favorite actor, so I may be a little biased. Chris Pratt, who I didn’t know before Guardians of the Galaxy, also did well. In fact, each of the main characters had actors with excellent performances. There’s also something about these kinds of stories that I love. It’s more than just an underdog story or fighting back against corruption. We see a townswoman going on a quest to put together a team of skilled warriors from various backgrounds. I realized as I watched this movie, that it reminded me of a few animes I’ve watched with similar themes. Turns out, this is actually a remake (1960 film) which is a remake of the Japanese iconic story, Seven Samuri (1954 film).
The movie starts off right away with beautiful scenery. Since it was filmed in more than one state, I’m not sure which state is in which scene. However, it captivates you. I can only imagine how it must have looked on a big screen. Since coming to Alaska, I appreciate the beauty in nature more than I have in years past, especially when it’s captured so well. The movie is about a small farming/mining town that is overrun by an evil man who has been corrupted by greed in the form of gold. We see a desperate townswoman seek the aid of skilled men to help fight back in order to reclaim their land. After she recruits Denzel’s character, Sam, he in turn recruits 6 other men. This group of 7 becomes the Magnificent 7. One of the things I enjoyed most was the diversity of this group. Even Goodnight, played by Ethan Hawke, points out their various backgrounds at one point. Once the gang is put together they venture off to the town of Rose Creek to free the small town. As you would expect with a Western, this movie is packed with action.
The movie stays true to the roots of Westerns with standoffs, saloon shootouts, people being thrown through windows and falling off rooftops, a town sheriff, the bad guy and so much more. I normally go into a few spoilers after the Summary section but I have decided to leave this review spoiler free. There are both small and large skirmishes, and it ends in a big battle for the town towards the end of the movie. Many people die throughout these fights, and there is some blood. But just like with the Westerns we’ve come to know and love, the blood is mild and there is nothing I would classify as ‘gore.’ A lot of the violence is suggestive as you see people shot at, but they simply fall down. The majority of the violence is gun fights, but there are some knifes, arrows, and other weapons as well. It also steered clear of sexual content, with only a reference to prostitution. The film avoided heavy use of foul language.
It’s a must watch in my opinion, and one you have to see for yourself. I was born in the middle of the 80’s so I have seen only a few Westerns. But the Wild West is something I’ve always enjoyed watching. Though these types of movies are usually men shooting men; I did appreciate the female heroine in this film. Emma, played by Haley Bennett, rises up to the challenge more than once when it seems no one else is willing too. The 7 that answer the call, know the risk of death is high. But even more so, they know the cause is great. As it builds up to the climax of the final stand in Rose Creek, the movie touches just enough on each character for you to be reeled in as if part of the crew. This is a movie I would like to own, and I don’t own many. I typically watch a movie once, and rarely see it again. I wouldn’t mind sitting down to watch this with friend that has’t seen it yet. If it’s not too late, add it to your Christmas/Holiday Shopping list.
After Credits Scene – None
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